A Parmigianino for the Getty?
Currently hanging on a wall at the National Gallery in London is a 16th century painting – Virgin With Child, St. John the Baptist, and Mary Magdalene, by Francesco Mazzuola, called Parmigianino (1503-1540) – from a stately English country home that the Getty hopes to secure. But they will first need an export license; and that, as they say, is the tricky part. According to the Los Angeles Times: “The museum said the painting has been in private hands for more than 400 years and that a private sale is being arranged through Sotheby’s.”
Until an export license is applied for, we won’t know the price; suffice it to say, it’s in the millions.
The Getty’s director has had his eyes on the painting since his days at Britain’s Fitzwilliam Museum. But the export license hurdle can sometimes be a problem. As the Times notes:
The Getty faced a similar situation when it sought to acquire an early Rembrandt self-portrait from a dealer. The museum ultimately prevailed in 2013 and received an export license.
But the Getty’s 2002 bid of $46.6 million for Raphael’s “Madonna of the Pinks” failed to go through when the British government stepped in to help with a rival bid.
The painting, executed between 1530 and 1540, is considered to be one of the finest late Renaissance works in private hands and said to be in excellent condition.